East Bay zip codes named 'hottest' in U.S.

July 27, 2009 6:55:21 PM PDT
Three of the top-selling markets in the country right now are in the East Bay -- Richmond zip code 94805, and Oakland zip codes 94601 and 94606. They're all listed in the top 10 by a local online realty firm.

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Most of those homes that people have been buying are foreclosures.

It's no surprise to Jose Rodriguez that he lives in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

A sign is hanging outside his house offering foreclosure tours and the series of neighbors who have come and gone says it all.

"Recently the home across the street sold in about six months. Very quick, very quick," said Rodriguez.

According to Emeryville-based Zip Realty, Oakland's 94606 and 94601 zip codes are among the hottest in the country. Buyers are offering above listing prices and sellers are accepting.

But it's not all positive. The majority of homes that sold were foreclosed properties located in neighborhoods with some of the highest foreclosure rates in the Bay Area.

"You are talking first-time buyers and you're talking investors. This is where a first-time buyer can get their foot in the door," said David Kerr from Zip Realty.

A foreclosed home in the 94606 has been on the market for less than a month.

"This sold for $549,000 and it's selling for $180,000. This is a bargain," said Kerr.

But one person's Oakland bargain is another's nuisance.

Mario Garcia says the foreclosed property next door has become a target for crime, but just last weekend, buyers seemed interested.

"It was a woman and an older woman who lost her house. It's been boarded and I think people tried to live in there and it got boarded up people have been coming to look at it," said Garcia.

And to those potential buyers, he says, welcome to the neighborhood.

"I would tell them to expect a lively, diverse neighborhood," said Garcia.

The company's study only covered April through June of this year, and it only looked at the metro areas around the country where the company is based. But the number of foreclosed homes sold is telling. In the 94606, more than 78 percent of all homes sold were foreclosures and in the 94601, more than 85 percent were.

To view the report and the complete list of "hot" zip codes, visit: http://www.ziprealty.com/whitepaper/homehunterreport/secondquarter2009.pdf

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